#34 Belmont Men's Basketball 2021-2022 Preview

Belmont Bruins
2021-2022 Overall Rank: #34
Conference Rank: #1 Ohio Valley
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Belmont’s brief stint in the Ohio Valley Conference will come to an end this year and they will look to leave the same way they came in…dominating the league. The Bruins were shut out of the NCAA Tournament last season after losing to Morehead State in the conference tournament final, but this Bruins team will be ready to win another OVC regular season title and potentially make some noise in the NCAA Tournament.
2020-21 Record: 26-4, 18-2
2020-21 Postseason: None
Coach: Casey Alexander
Coach Record: 50-10 at Belmont, 187-130 overall
Key Departed Players:
Mitch Listau, Guard, 3.1 ppg
Key Returning Players:
Nick Muszynski, Senior, Center, 15.0 ppg
Luke Smith, Senior, Guard, 12.7 ppg
JaCobi Wood, Sophomore, Guard, 11.3 ppg
Grayson Murphy, Senior, Guard, 10.9 ppg
Ben Sheppard, Junior, Guard, 10.5 ppg
Caleb Hollander, Senior, Forward, 9.3 ppg
Even Brauns, Sophomore, Center, 4.0 ppg
EJ Bellinger, Junior, Guard, 3.1 ppg
Tate Pierson, Senior, Guard, 3.0 ppg
Frank Jakubicek, Sophomore, Forward, 2.5 ppg
Derek Sabin, Junior, Forward, 2.1 ppg
Michael Shanks, Junior, Guard, 1.4 ppg
Key New Players:
Will Richard, Freshman, Guard
Isaiah Walker, Freshman, Guard
Programs like Belmont that have had continuous success by relying on upperclassmen and building from the ground up every season will greatly benefit from the extra year of eligibility. The Bruins usually have an experienced team, but with nearly everyone back, they are even more experienced. Center Nick Muszynski has been extremely consistent from game to game and season to season. He should again average around 15 points, five rebounds and two blocks. Caleb Hollander will join Muszynski in the starting frontcourt after tallying 9.3 points and 4.3 rebounds. Guard Grayson Murphy does a ton of work on the glass and will help out the frontcourt in that department. On top of his team high 8.0 rebounds, Murphy also led Belmont with 5.8 assists. He can score too. Luke Smith is the top shooter on the team and hit nearly 40 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc and was second on the team with 12.7 points per game. JaCobi Wood and Ben Sheppard are capable shooters too. Those top six should again eat up most of the minutes, but the younger players down the bench are capable of picking up more minutes than last season as necessary.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 81.3 (13th in nation, 2nd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 69.1 (136, 4)
Field-Goal Percentage: 48.9 (13, 2)
Field-Goal Defense: 42.6 (139, 4)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 9.0 (38, 2)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 34.4 (136, 6)
Free-Throw Percentage: 73.8 (72, 2)
Rebound Margin: 0.6 (163, 6)
Assists Per Game: 18.2 (4, 1)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.0 (90, 1)